Tofurkey Day

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week at home where it was 85 degrees and sunny. Perfect.

thanksgivingI didn’t actually eat any Tofurkey though. Just pigged out on sides – stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes…. Mmmmmm. Getting hungry just thinking about it. For dinner I was in charge of the green beans and (of course) the dessert.

pie ice creamI made an easy pumpkin pie, recipe straight off the side of the Libby’s can with a frozen crust. It was delicious, but what really made it special was what we put on top!

Cinnamon Maple Ice Cream

Ingredients
3/4 C milk
1 1/2 C heavy cream
1/2 C maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
dash salt
1/2 C sugar

Instructions
1.
In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except sugar. Gradually add sugar, whisking until dissolved.
2. Pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn until frozen.
3. Move ice cream to another container and freeze at least 2 hours.
4. Serve alone or on top of your favorite pie – pumpkin, apple, etc.

I did a bit of shopping while I was home and picked up a new donut pan for only $6.50! So exciting. I already had a mini donut pan, which I love, but sometimes you just need some regular sized donuts too. Priorities, right?

baked donuts

It’s still pumpkin season, and will be until I get tired of baking with pumpkin (which will never happen). They still have giant displays of canned pumpkin at the grocery store, which I take as an invitation to post more pumpkin recipes than anyone actually wants or needs to read. Hence this recipe.

pumpkin donuts 2

Pumpkin Donuts
Makes about 1 dozen regular donuts (or 6 regular and 1 dozen mini). Can also be made as muffins.

Ingredients
1 C sugar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 C vegetable oil
1/3 C applesauce
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
dash salt
1 1/2 C pumpkin puree
1 1/2 C flour
cinnamon sugar

Instructions
1.
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease donut pans.
2. In a large bowl, combine sugars, vanilla, oil, applesauce, and eggs. Mix until smooth.
3. Stir in powder, spices, and pumpkin.
4. Gradually add flour, mixing until a thick batter forms.
5. Fill pans almost completely full and bake until a tester comes out clean. Approximately 15 minutes for mini donuts and 25 for regular donuts.
6. Once donuts are almost cool, remove from pans. Fill a bowl with cinnamon sugar and coat donuts one at a time. Serve immediately.

pumpkin donuts

I woke up unreasonably early before class on Monday to make these. Needless to say my roommates were appreciative.

Cheesecake Party

I’ve gotten behind on my blogging again :( But I’m SO excited for all of the cooking I’m going to do over Thanksgiving! Since I’m so behind, I’ll make this a double recipe post just to make it up to you. The first one is a dessert you can definitely have at your Thanksgiving. Yes, it’s pumpkin. Of course.

A couple weeks ago, we had a party at our house. I’d been wanting to use my mini cheesecake pan again, so I thought, why not make cheesecake for the party? My roommates said, “WHAT? What kind of college party has cheesecake?!!” The best ones, of course. And everyone appreciated the cheesecake, so I win.

If you don’t have a mini cheesecake pan, you can still bake this in a regular springform pan, but scale everything back to 2 packages of cream cheese.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake
Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Ingredients
for the crust
26 regular (not Double-Stuf) Oreos – 2 rows in the package
4 Tbsp butter, melted
for the cheesecake
3 8oz packages cream cheese
3 eggs
1 15oz can pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 C brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Instructions
1.
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease cheesecake pan.
2. Put Oreos in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. Pour in melted butter, stir. Press about 1 1/2 Tbsp into the bottom of each well in the pan (I found a shot glass works best for this – it’s really difficult with your fingers).
3. Bake crusts for 10 min. While they are cooling, begin the cheesecake.
4. With an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla until completely smooth.
5. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until combined.
6. Pour into each well, filling completely to the top. Bake 20-25 minutes until set.
7. Let cool about 15 minutes then remove from pans. Chill in fridge (or on your porch if it’s cold enough and your fridge is full like mine…) for at least 1 hour before serving.

So to go with all that cheesecake, I guess you might need some real food… maybe… Sometimes…

Quinoa Risotto
Serves 2-3.

Ingredients
1 C uncooked quinoa
2 C vegetable broth
1/2 C sliced baby bella mushrooms
1/2 C diced red onion
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 C white wine
1/4 C parmesan cheese
1/4 C goat cheese
3/4 C fresh spinach
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
1.
Cook quinoa in vegetable broth, either on the stove top or in a rice cooker.
2. Saute mushrooms and onion in oil over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add quinoa and cook a couple more minutes.
3. Add wine and stir until absorbed. Turn off heat.
4. Add cheese and spinach and stir until cheese is melted and spinach leaves are wilted. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Season!!

I’m so behind on my blogging! I’ve been crazy busy with school, dance, job interviews, blah blah blah that I haven’t had time to write up any of my new recipes! But it’s quickly becoming fall, meaning I’m quickly becoming more and more obsessed with the very best part of this season: pumpkin.

Like my collection? I like pumpkin everything. Pumpkin pie, Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie Pop-Tarts, pumpkin spice Eggo waffles, and of course… pumpkin.

Everything tastes good with a little pumpkin in it. Especially desserts. Which brings me to this new recipe…

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 18 cupcakes.

Ingredients
for the cupcakes
2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
dash salt
6 Tbsp butter, room temperature
1/3 C sugar
3/4 C brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 C milk
2 eggs
1 1/4 C pumpkin puree
for the frosting
8 oz light cream cheese
2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
3 Tbsp maple syrup
2-4 C powdered sugar

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, sift flour, powder, soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars. Mix in vanilla, milk, and eggs. Slowly add pumpkin and mix until smooth.
4. Gradually add flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture until a batter is formed.
5. Fill pans about 2/3 full and bake for 22-28 minutes until a knife comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
6. For the frosting, with an electric mixer combine cream cheese, butter, and maple syrup. Slowly sift in powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.

These cupcakes were light and fluffy, just the way cupcakes should be. They lasted about a day in my house before my friends had eaten them all.

So I know what you’re thinking… Pumpkin comes in a huge can, but these cupcakes didn’t sure nearly that much! So what do you do? Well, you could just make tons of cupcakes, which would certainly be fine, or you could make the easiest and most delicious brownies known to mankind.

Pumpkin Brownies

Ingredients
one box of your favorite brownie mix
15oz pumpkin (I used half the 29oz can)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
chocolate chips, walnuts – optional

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 pan.
2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until a batter forms. Do NOT use the ingredients called for on the brownie box (eggs, oil, etc).
3. Bake 25-30 min until a knife comes out clean. Let cool, cut, and eat!

Enjoy the rest of pumpkin season!